Thousands of Narendra Modi masks that are doing the rounds in Gujarat — a unique campaign tool in Indian electoral history — have been made at a factory in China owned by a US-based toy manufacturer. And, they are not toxic.
Even though the BJP is keeping mum on the issue, sources revealed that the masks are a brainchild of graphic designer Manish Bharadia, who runs an advertising agency called Moving Pixels in Ahmedabad. He prepared a number of samples and presented them to Modi, who selected two.
Bharadia is unwilling to reveal the name of the US-based Gujarati who paid for the masks. Given recent revelations about Chinese-made toys, all precautions were taken. “The masks have been made using only non toxic, biodegradable material,” Bharadia said. “Masks of American leaders have often been used in their election campaigns,” he said. “But they are usually three dimensional caricatures, distributed by their opponents to lampoon them.” In Modi’s case, it was the opposite — the masks are realistic, approved by the candidate himself.
On whether the masks violated the model code, Rajeev Topno, Vadodara DM, said: “They do not violate any guidelines.”